Message for U.S. Citizens: Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3

Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3


Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections

and participating in Absentee Voting Week!


In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2016

elections is October 10. For some voters this might mean their paper voter

registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by

October 10. In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S.

citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016.

Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted

absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to ensure you

are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.


If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016

and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving your blank

ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon if you have not already

received it. If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request you

should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status

of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.


You can get voting assistance from the embassy/consulate or drop off your

completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials,

during the following hours:


FPCA or ballots may be dropped off in person at the U.S. Embassy Dakar Monday

to Thursday, 8-11 am or 2-4 pm. Normal transit time from Senegal to the United

States is 14 days.



Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the

time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter,

Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and

will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed

ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.


If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is

easy — just follow these steps:


  1. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections,

complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote

and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and

state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the

course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all

U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.


The online voting assistant available at is an easy way to complete the

FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic

ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you

to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you

electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be

sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The

online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print

and sign.


  1. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

FPCA or ballots may be dropped off in person at the U.S. Embassy Dakar Monday

to Thursday 8-11 am or 2-4 pm.


If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off

your FPCA at the U.S. Embassy Dakar on your behalf or you can send your FPCA

or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or

professional courier service at your own expense.


  1. Receive Your Ballot

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your

registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out

ballots 45 days before an election (on or around September 24) for federal office

(President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S.

citizen who has completed an FPCA.


  1. Return Your Ballot

As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials

free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own



Your Vote Counts

Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of

victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as

long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt

deadline (differs by state).


Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that

will aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and

hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and



To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to

FVAP’s Voting Alerts ( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via

Facebook and Twitter.


If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Post’s

Voting Assistance Officer at